A second request for information from the Federal Trade Commission isn't expected to delay the Sept. 1 acquisition of the nation's largest outpatient surgery chain by the largest nongovernmental hospital chain.
The two companies-Dallas-based Medical Care America and Louisville, Ky.-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.-set a Sept. 1 date for shareholders to vote on the $858 million deal.
Meanwhile, officials of the two companies were sending information to the FTC concerning two markets in which both companies operate. A second FTC request indicates greater antitrust scrutiny.
Neither company would disclose the two markets in which the FTC was interested. However, Jonathon Bond, Medical Care's senior vice president, said they were not "major" markets. Nor does Medical Care have multiple surgery centers in the markets, he said. The company has 96 centers.
Coincidentally, the shareholder meetings are set a year and a day after shareholders of Columbia Hospital Corp. and Galen Health Care approved the $3.2 billion merger of the two hospital chains in 1993.
The Columbia-Galen merger occurred just days after the FTC agreed to a deal in which Columbia would sell its hospital in Kissimmee, Fla., to Adventist Health System/Sunbelt (Aug. 23, 1993, p. 3). When Columbia merged with Hospital Corporation of America five months later, it also had to divest one of HCA's hospitals in Aiken, S.C., to garner FTC approval (Feb. 14, p. 2).
In its most recent earnings report, Medical Care reported a 5% increase in net income to $13.8 million, or 47 cents per share, for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with net income of $13.1 million, or 36 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 6% to $112.1 million.
For the six-month period, the company reported a 353% increase in profits to $113.2 million, or $3.39 per share, compared with $25 million, or 68 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The results included an $87 million gain through the sale of its home infusion therapy business, Critical Care America, to Caremark in March. Revenues for the six months grew 7% to $217.3 million.